We are happy to feature a blog post from 13-year-old Nevaeh who traveled with her Dad and a team to Haiti this summer.
Imagine yourself living life with little water, no shoes to walk around in, little food to eat during the day to keep you fulfilled, one pair of clothing to wear and mess around to get dirty, minimal places where you can feel safe. This is what the majority of Haitians have to deal with every day.
I recently returned home from Haiti, where Christian World Outreach had put together a short-term mission trip for VBS for kids in La-Victoire to grow in their faith with Jesus Christ. Children with bare feet ran around cautious and afraid of stepping on the glass of broken bottles. I drank purified water, while little children drank little amounts of water from pouches a day.
Before this mission trip, I was a thirteen-year-old who did not have a clue about what was happening on the other side of our world. I was selfish, greedy, and only wanted things for myself. After all the things I experienced, I truly understand what it means to not have a thing.
The first day in Haiti was a bit terrifying. I was absolutely clueless. I thought to myself, “ I know no one here, and just want to go home.” There was another girl around my age, thinking the same thing I was, her eyes were very big and watery. It was both our very first mission trip outside of the United States. Just the thought of being in a third world country got me overwhelmed and nervous. Being there was different from the bubble I live in, in Highlands Ranch. Once we got there, we jumped out of the car and the first thing the Haitians said to us was “ Would you like to buy”, and “ Please buy” People were in desperate need of money. My heart started beating fast because they really needed us to buy their creative artwork and then I had to say “No, sorry”.
After that, we got our luggage and stayed in the nicest bed and breakfast with the sweetest person, Jude, who ran it. He introduced himself, showed us around and had very good customer service. By the time, we settled in, the team and I did our mini-lesson, where we talk about what the plan is for the next day. Then we said prayers and headed off to our first night in Haiti.
The next morning, everything was a bit less nerve-wracking. During breakfast, everybody was introducing themselves, and giving everybody else an idea of who they are as a person. They also told us what inspired them to do this short-term mission trip. A girl named Sarah got inspired to doing this mission trip by wanting to live in Haiti and work at the school. I compared her reason to my reason: She WANTED to be here, live here and work at the school while I came here with my dad because my family thought it was a good idea to teach me how to serve others. After Breakfast, we packed our luggage for a 4 1⁄2 hour bumpy van ride. Then, we went to the church in Lavictorie. The church was very small compared to what our church here is. We walked in and everybody looked like they were happy with everything. How could they possibly be happy when they have absolutely nothing? My answer was, probably because they have lived their whole lives like this that they just truly see the good in everything. At the beginning of VBS, all the little children got assigned a room on where they would learn their lesson. There were only four rooms to teach approximately 400-500 kids. I noticed that the bigger kids were taking care of their little siblings. Their job was to learn the VBS lesson while watching their siblings. After the lesson, we fed all of the kids lunch meals. I was very excited to watch the children chow down their meal because that was probably their only real meal for the day. After completing our lessons and feeding the kids, we all went back and played games with the children in the community. We went back to the hotel after everybody got tired and talked about what we experienced and the difference between what we thought it would be like. We all went to bed and crashed out after that long day of hard work.
The next few days were pretty much similar to the day before. We repeated our same routine and everything was great. The only thing that was not the same as the day before was the pastor of the church gave us a little story of his background. Long story short, he told us that he got a job in Seattle, but God was telling him to stay where he belongs and still teach the kids about God.
The second to last day before we had to go, I gave my testimony. This was a bit nervewracking to me because I do not really like telling my story in front of a whole bunch of people. The night before this I had to write it in my journal and remember to bring it. I purposely forgot it because I was just so nervous and didn’t want to do this. My dad asked me to go back and grab it because it was important for me to share how God has worked in my life. After I told my testimony, I felt good about it and felt like I needed to do that. After I told my testimony, we had over 110 kids accept their heart to Jesus Christ.
The last day when leaving Lavictoire, instead of getting back on the van for the long hours, we took a short ride to a small airport in the rural area. When we got to the Airport it did not look like an airport because it looked like a soccer field with no runway and grass everywhere. There also were no other planes around, no concourse and no control tower either. About 10 minutes after we arrived, a small plane landed on to the grassy runway. The pilots introduced themselves, took the weight of our luggage and each person, then we all loaded the plane. Once in the air, I looked down and reflected on what I experienced. We got back to Port-au-Prince in no time at all.
The very last day was sad because I did not want to leave Haiti.
In the beginning, I wanted to go home after I arrived. But now, after my week experience, I just wanted to stay and hang out with the Haitians for a couple more days. If I could go back and do it all over again, I would. Even today, I still think about those days and the purpose of going and who I am now. I will return!